Supreme Election Council (YSK) Cancels İstanbul Local Elections

Bianet, 06/05/2019

The Supreme Election Council (YSK) has ruled that the local elections shall be cancelled and repeat elections shall be held in İstanbul, where CHP’s Ekrem İmamoğlu was elected the Metropolitan Mayor according to unofficial local election results.

Recep Özel, the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) Representative to the YSK, has announced the decision on his social media account: “İstanbul local elections will be held again. May it go well…”

He also stated that the new elections will be held on June 23, 2019.

The YSK convened today to discuss the extraordinary objections raised by the AKP and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) to İstanbul elections.

According to unofficial results, while Ekrem İmamoğlu, the candidate of Nation Alliance from the Republican People’s Party (CHP), received 4 million 169 thousand 765 votes, Binali Yıldırım, the candidate of People’s Alliance from the AKP, received 4 million 156 thousand 36 votes.

The ruling of the Supreme Election Council, which is given by a vote of seven to four, is the final ruling in that regard.

Same parties will be eligible to run in repeat elections

As reported by the state-run Anadolu Agency (AA), the political parties, who run in March 31 local elections, will be eligible to run in the repeat elections as well. Parties cannot nominate new candidates.

However, the vacancies opened by death or resignations of previous candidates will be filled until the date to be specified by election councils.

The voter lists that were updated and became definite before the March 31 local election will be used in the repeat elections without any changes or updates. The electoral calendar to be observed in these elections will be issued by the district election councils that will lead the electoral process.

CHP Central Executive Board has convened

After it was reported that the local elections have been cancelled in İstanbul, the Central Executive Committee of the CHP has convened under the leadership of CHP Chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu in Ankara.

Allegation of ‘irregularities in balloting committees’

CNN Turk’s representative to Ankara Dicle Canova reported that allegations of “irregularities committed while forming balloting committees” have become effective in the ruling of cancellation given by the YSK.

It was also among the allegations raised by the AKP that apart from civil servants, those working at banks and private sector were also registered as members of balloting committees. The lists of balloting committees were prepared by the district governorships.

Police officers sent to YSK office in Ankara

Before the YSK has announced its ruling, five busses of riot police officers have been positioned in front of the YSK’s headquarters in the capital city of Ankara. The vicinity of the building has been closed with barricades.

What does the AKP object?

As reported by Gökçer Tahincioğlu from the T24, AKP has listed the following allegations in its 44-page petition of extraordinary objection:

“There are no seals on more than 5 thousand vote counting tables, no signatures on 694 of them and nothing written on 214 of them.

“The names of people under legal disability and 5 thousand 287 convicts are in the voter lists.

“There are over 300 thousand irregular votes.

“Around 19 thousand of 62 thousand balloting committee chairs and members are not civil servants.